MyPlate on My Budget: Good food costs money

Last March I fed my family on $144.80 a week as part of the MyPlate on My Budget experiment. Could I follow the USDA thrifty food plan and feed my family the Choose MyPlate advised daily nutrients? The answer was yes, but it took a big toll on everyone.

An interesting thing I have discovered is that most people are extremely reluctant to share what they spend on groceries each month. The exception is people who are spending a ridiculously low about, like $300 a month for a family of six.

Food is really expensive and I’m wondering if many people, (like me), feel guilty when they get to the cash register.

Don’t feel guilty!

If the MyPlate on My Budget experiment taught me anything, it’s that quality food costs more because it’s inherently worth more. Washington apples vs. New Zealand apples; Oregon shrimp vs. farmed shrimp from Thailand; freshness comes with a price AND a reward.

Filling your kids up with healthy snacks they actually like, means they might have better behavior. That’s worth it, right?

My first shopping trip back from my experiment I went to Whole Foods. Click on the picture and you can look at what I bought (and what I spent). If you add in the cost of the Silvana meat I still have in the freezer, I spent about $190 on groceries for my family of four this week.

My purchases included two gallons of organic milk, lots of fresh veg for making green smoothies, GF yummies for mom, and the ingredients for a homemade pizza my son needs to make for a Cub Scouts requirement. I also bought a bunch of crackers, because we are all out. (That has been a major source of grumbling this past month.)

$190 a week on (mostly) organic groceries for a family of four? That’s not bad!

I could easily have spent more than that if I wasn’t careful, or if I was trying to exactly follow the Choose MyPlate requirements. But $190 was enough that I could buy food for a week that my family would actually eat.

Rose McAvoy has some thoughts about saving money on groceries that you might want to check out.

In the meantime, I’m pouring myself another cup of coffee (with cream) and enjoying some GF pineapple cookies.

And I don’t feel guilty at all. This snack is worth it.

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